Travel SOS: How do you find the best value cruises?

Font Size:

Robert is confused by all the cruise offers that he sees and wants to know how to find the best value.


Q. Robert
I see so many cruise offers around, but am finding it hard to find the one that really offers the best value. Should I look for the one with the cheapest base price, or is it cheaper to book a more expensive cruise with more inclusions? I find comparison sites very confusing as well. What is the best way to find a cheap cruise, without being ripped off when paying for extras?

cruise ship floats at night

A. You are right that it can be very tricky to compare cruise offers.

If you are looking to save money on a cruise, one of the most important decisions you can make is choosing a cruise that leaves and returns to Australia, as this will automatically knock out the price of airfares required to start your journey. If you live in a major capital city, you can look for a cruise that departs and returns to your home port to save money on domestic airfares as well.

On some liners, gratuities, special restaurants, activities and on-shore excursions cost extra, while on others they’re included in your base fare. So it is important to make sure that you are comparing like with like.

Consumer group CHOICE has an excellent guide for first-time cruises that can help guide you through a lot of these decisions.

Comparison sites can help you find some great deals but it is important to cross check the information to make sure the deal matches your expectations.

Firstly, you should always check any deal from a comparison site to see if you can find a better deal directly with the cruise line.

While some sites offer lowest price guarantees, these may not include offers that give you extras like onboard credit or vouchers, so it is important to read the fine print.

Not all comparison sites compare all the cruise lines available, so it can be useful to try using two or three comparison sites to ensure you have access to all the information possible.

Do you have any tips for finding the best cruise deals?

If you enjoy our content, don’t keep it to yourself. Share our free eNews with your friends and encourage them to sign up.


Coral Expeditions announce three new Indian Ocean itineraries

Coral Geographer further enhances Coral Expedition's reputation for small ships with big ship

Travel SOS: Is there an easier way to pay for cruises?

Anne is struggling to save for her cruise and wants to know what options are available.

Tips to help solo cruisers make friends

These seven simple tips can help solo cruisers have the social trip of a lifetime.

Written by Ben


Sign-up to the YourLifeChoices Enewsletter

continue reading

Finance News

How much you can save on electricity in your home state

As we prepare to head into the colder winter months, there is good news for those worried about heating costs...


What is thrombocytopenia, and why did it stop the AstraZeneca jab?

Anthony Zulli, Victoria University; Maja Husaric, Victoria University; Maximilian de Courten, Victoria University, and Vasso Apostolopoulos, Victoria University Australia's medical...


Ways to manage death anxiety

Winston Churchill once said: "Any man who says he is not afraid of death is a liar." But while it's...

Food and Recipes

Rick Stein's Autumn Vegie Soup

"One of the rather pathetic realities of the fact that so many of the restaurants in France are disappointing these...


Australians give big thumbs down to the public service

Only 27 per cent of Australians believe the public service acts in the public interest and only 22 per cent...

Brain health

Normal tension glaucoma linked to cognitive impairment

Australian researchers say they have established a link between the eye condition glaucoma and cognitive impairment, the state that often...


Old wives' tales put to the test

Alice Shaw-Beckett, from cleaning company Cleanipedia, dissects 13 old wives' tales related to cleaning and pest control to discover whether...

Travel & Motoring

Consider this when deciding on a roadside assist deal

A reader raised an interesting point that I hadn’t considered before. When she bought her new car, it included -...